Teacher Professional Development

Professional-Development Opportunities 

The Forest Preserve District offers a variety of professional-development opportunities and research-based instructional practices for teachers in natural sciences and cultural history. Teachers participate in hands-on learning experiences and receive resources for their classrooms or discovery at forest preserves on their own.  

Our opportunities are also open to homeschool and nontraditional teachers. 

For questions about our upcoming professional-development opportunities, contact Fullersburg Woods at 630-850-8114. Registration is now open for 2019 opportunities.

View our upcoming professional-development opportunities. 

Teacher Professional Development

Mindfulness in the Classroom • July 30, 2019

Mindfulness in the Classroom — 16043

Get an overview about mindfulness, how it feels and why it is important for teachers to use it in the classroom. $40 per person. Register online.

July 30, 2019  • 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook


Summer Break Relaxation • Aug. 6, 2019

Summer Break Relaxation — 16044

Get an overview about the risk to empathetic teachers and how to balance student care with your own care. Includes a  caregiver yoga class. $40 per person. Register online.

Aug. 6, 2019  • 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook


Back-to-School Mindfulness • Aug. 8, 2019

Back-to-School Mindfulness — 16045

Begin your morning devoted to exploring and planning small but impactful changes you can make to your classroom environment, interactions and curriculum. Come away with a simple mindfulness craft project, a self-designed script and some samples. $50 per person. Register online.

Aug. 8, 2019 • 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook


Bass in the Class • Aug. 17, 2019 & Feb.1, 2020

Bass in the Class — 16036

Liven up your science curriculum with this hands-on aquatic biology program for your classroom. You will receive lessons and materials to tailor to curriculum needs as your students in grades preschool to 12 raise fingerling fish, monitor tank quality, learn about ecosystems and begin to adopt a conservation ethic. No fee. Register online.

Aug. 17, 2019 • 8:30 a.m. – noon
Feb. 1, 2020 • 8:30 a.m. – noon
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook

3.5 CPDH

"Bass in the Class" flyer (PDF)


Mussel Mania: Restoring Freshwater Mussels in Urban Streams • Sept. 20, 2019

Mussel Mania: Restoring Freshwater Mussels in Urban Streams — 16039

Learn about native freshwater mussels and water quality in DuPage County. Discover the Forest Preserve District’s conservation work and how you can incorporate it in to your classroom. Join us for this exciting workshop that includes information about natural history, classroom activities and a freshwater mussel experience in a local stream that includes identifying local freshwater mussels. In addition to receiving CPDHs participants will leave with more knowledge about these critically threatened species and resources to implement an aquatic curriculum for grades 6 to 12. $10 lunch fee per person. Register online.

Sept. 20, 2019 • 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  
Urban Stream Research Center at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville

4.5 CPDH

Rocks & Minerals • Nov. 2, 2019

Rocks & Minerals — 16040

Get to know rocks and minerals with specific activities and lessons for the study of basic earth science. Uncover the mysteries of our planet as we explore the earth from its core to the outer reaches of space. Discover how different types of rocks are formed, see fluorescent minerals glow, crack geodes, see amazing Illinois fossils, and learn why scientists want to mine asteroids. Participants will receive lessons and activities for plate tectonics, weathering and basic earth-science concepts for preschool to grade 8. No fee. Register online.

Nov. 2, 2019 • 8:30 a.m. –noon
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook

3.5 CPDH

Native Landscaping for Schools • Jan. 2020

Native Landscaping for Schools

Discover how to plant a schoolyard garden with native plants that attract butterflies and other pollinators. Learn about historic folklore surrounding native plants and their medicinal properties. Explore the benefits of native plants, and get tips for engaging students, faculty and parent volunteers to install and maintain a pollinator-friendly garden. This abbreviated three-session course is offered through the University of Wisconsin Madison Arboretum as part of the Earth Partnership for Schools. More info coming soon!

Coming Jan. 2020
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook

3.5 CPDU

Teacher Institute Training Day in DuPage County • Feb. 28, 2020

Teacher Institute Training Day in DuPage County  

Learn about the Forest Preserve District's education centers and how to incorporate natural sciences and cultural history into your lesson plans at the "Teacher Institute Training Day in DuPage County", offered in partnership with the DuPage Regional Office of Education. More information coming soon!

Feb. 28, 2020
DuPage forest preserves

Partnering for the Blanding's Turtle • June 19, 2020

Partnering for the Blanding's Turtle 

Explore STEM science and the endangered Blanding’s turtle. Meet ecologists, biologists and naturalists from the DuPage and Will county forest preserve districts to discover their efforts to revitalize the Blanding’s turtle populations. Begin your day with a presentation and head out for a field study in telemetry. Then, meet captive-reared turtles, view their native habitat and learn about a unique partnership between the forest preserve districts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Illinois Department of Natural Resources. $10 per person. More info coming soon!

June 19, 2020  • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville


Amazing "Teacher Institute Day"! I have been teaching 20 years at multiple levels, so I have been to many institute days. This one wins as the best ever. Why? Knowledge of staff, their kindness and accommodations, pacing and variety of activities, and ease of communication and access for information before and after the program day.


DuPage County Teacher

It was great to add more knowledge to my “teacher tool box”. I gained personal knowledge and classroom ideas to use with my sixth graders. This was the best institute day I’ve had in the 11 years I’ve been a teacher. Thank you, and I really do plan to reach out to your experts in the near future.


DuPage County Teacher

The instructors took the time to explain the content to us in a thorough way and show us how it could be applicable to our students and community. I was surprised to see all of the program offerings available to schools.


DuPage County Teacher